Bond villain toys


A couple of days ago — at the worst possible time when I was rushed off my feet — my mobile phone died. It was three years old and therefore practically prehistoric in a fashion-driven market. Although I'm generally speaking a gadget freak, I don't get very excited by mobiles. Most seem needlessly flashy with pointless functions, with the emphasis on ringtones and rather lame games. But I do kind of rely on having a phone, so I was forced into buying a new one. I decided that if I was going to get something new, it might as well be as useful as possible. I knew that the Sony Ericsson T68i is one of the most compatible phones with MacOSX, syncing with Address Book over Bluetooth and so on, so when I found a calls package with a free T68i handset, I decided to go for it.

I have to admit that I'm rather won over. It's a very neat little unit, with sensible menu navigation via the teeny-tiny joystick (which will of course be the first thing to break). Better still, I found a superb bit of shareware called the Sony Ericsson Clicker which allows you to control a Mac using the phone as a remote control. There are several scripts provided to do things like controlling iTunes, the DVD player or a Keynote presentation, but what is really cool is that you can write your own Applescripts to do anything you want.

Practical functions like changing slides in Keynote are all very well, but when I found out that you can write a script to display your Mac's uptime on the phone's screen, I literally squealed with geekish joy. The practical side of my brain tells me that there is no conceivable situation in which I might need to display uptime on my phone, but the geek side of my brain is arguing that it wants to do it really badly. Then I can feel like a Bond villain in my hollowed-out volcano lair. I'll write an Applescript, so that when I press the 'No' button, it activates the trap door under the seats in the back row of the lecture theatre, and slumbering students get pitched into the piranha tank below. "I'm afraid I'll have to terminate your call, Mr. Bond. Bwa-ha-ha-ha!"

Oh yes — it also has a "proximity sensor" function: when you go out of range, you can set a script to run. I have it set so that the screensaver (with password protection) comes on to lock the screen — cool.

Apparently you can also make phone calls on it.